Saxophonist and composer Nick Mazzarella has been a consistent presence in Chicago's music scene since the early 2000s, and his regular performances there represent an aesthetically unique contribution to the city's rich jazz and improvised music culture. His working trio and quintet have served as the primary vehicles for his endeavors as a composer and leader, while as a collaborator or sideman he has performed and recorded with such artists as Tomeka Reid, Makaya McCraven, Hamid Drake, Joshua Abrams, and Rob Mazurek. He has released recordings as a leader on Nessa Records, Clean Feed Records, and the International Anthem Recording Company imprint, among others, and has performed throughout the United States and Scandinavia. Mazzarella also curates two concert series: the Anagram Series, presented weekly at Elastic Arts in Chicago, and the Ratchet Series, presented monthly at Cafe Mustache in Chicago.
Continuing the approach taken by like-minded trailblazing altoists like Eric Dolphy,
Ornette Coleman, Henry Threadgill, Oliver Lake, and Gary Bartz, Mazzarella seeks to
embody the history of the music while pushing it forward into new realms.
– Troy Dostert, All About Jazz
[Mazzarella is a] student of jazz’s deep history and a freedom seeker unwilling to let
rules hold back expression.
– Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
Anyone who follows jazz in Chicago knows that Mazzarella can summon tremendous
power on his instrument.
– Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
Mazzarella’s prowess stems from his billowing timbre and clarity of thought.”
Neil Tesser, chicagomusic.org
To hear Mazzarella play saxophone is to bear witness to an exquisite young talent.”
– Kenneth Preski, Newcity Magazine